Coastal Alabama Wraps Up 2016 In Great Style

Baldwin County & Alabama Coastal MLS*: Observations for the Month of December 2016

Sales dollars increased 21% in December to $155,437,713 from November $128,478,837. This is up 23% from last year’s record level of $126,001,010. (Sect A p.2). The 12 month moving average line of sales, after a pause during the summer months, has been heading substantially up.

Full Year summary:

All units New units Used Units Avg New Price Avg Used Price Avg All price Total dollars
2016 6723 1124 5598 $249,357 $255,065 $254,160 $1,712,999,817
2015 6324 823 5501 $250,329 $242,023 $243,098 $1,542,057,978
% ∆ 6.31% 36.57% 1.76% -0.39% 5.39% 4.55% 11.09%

Sales in most price categories show consistent improvement as do inventories. Check out the chart on page A-17 to fully appreciate the inventory trends. Still, inventory remains high, but improving, for anything over $500,000. Note that price ranges with inventories over a year are fewer, for instance, the price ranges of $600,000-$800,000 are at just 10-11 months. With the $500,000-$600,000 at 14 months. Amazingly, the over $900,000 category is now at 23 months with 156 active and 9 sold this month.

In concert with ACRE, The Alabama Center for Real Estate, we have projected expectations for 2016. We use the ACRE provided data for the projections, which differs slightly from the data in this report. The projection for 2016 located here expected projected home sales in 2016 of 5,139, which is a -1.74% difference from 2015 actual of  5,230. Full year actual sales are 8% above expectations. 5571 sales were recorded for the year which is 432 more than projected and 341 more than 2015.  New projections for 2017 will be out once all the December results are available (statewide).

On a unit basis, sales of all houses were up 72 at 559 this month vs. last month at 487, which is up from last year’s healthy level of 491. Used Home sales increased to 457 this month vs. 409 last month, which is up from last year’s 423 (Sect A p.18). New Home sales were 102 this month vs 78 last month and compared with 68 last year. New listings for New homes decreased to 130 from 137 in November. Used homes New listings decreased to 338 from 530 in November with net inventory down.

The absolute number of Used Active homes on the market, which had a slight peak mid-summer of ‘09, has been consistently improving. In December, there were 2,676 Active Used homes, a reduction from 3,403 in November and a new multi year low. New homes, which peaked in December 2006 at 2,144 Active, now sit at 609.

The Absorption rate for New homes was 7 months of inventory in December vs. 8 in November. The Absorption rate for Used homes was 6 months of inventory in December vs. 7 in November. Over the last four years the drop in months of inventory for Used homes has been steady and impressive from 25 months plus in November 2008 to 6 months this December. I have been expecting construction to begin to pick-up in the under $400,000 range, and this has happened. Sales have been keeping up, so we have not seen an increase in inventory.

Average sales price for all homes has been static for the past year. For New units, average price increased to  $268,115 from $258,127 last month. (Sect A p.14). Average Used home prices were up this month, to $280,284 from $264,902 in November. Average Days On Market for New Sold properties in December was 183 vs last month of 172. Days On Market for Used was 156 vs. last month 166. In my opinion, the results point to a strong upcoming year.         

TWB 1/15/2017


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